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The last of 13 drug dealers arrested in a 2018 sting by a Central Arkansas drug task force, dubbed Operation White Horse, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to felony charges in Garland County Circuit Court.

Crystal Megan Huckaby, 35, of Hot Springs pleaded guilty to two counts of delivery of meth, possession of meth with purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia and was sentenced to 10 years on each count, to run concurrently, while additional felony charges of simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, unauthorized use of another person's property to facilitate certain crimes and possession of marijuana with purpose to deliver were withdrawn.

Deputy prosecutor Trent Daniels, acting commander for the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force, said Wednesday that Huckaby was the last defendant to be prosecuted from the almost five-month operation, which culminated with the majority of arrests being made between Oct. 17-19, 2018.

The operation, which targeted a heroin distribution ring operating in Garland County, began with a heroin overdose fatality on June 7, 2018, which led investigators to a core group of six people, including Huckaby, with ties to other states, including California and Texas. The investigation eventually resulted in 13 arrests.

Daniels said most of those arrested were sentenced to varying terms in prison and many were also indicted in federal court, but noted one first-time offender's case was diverted to drug court where he was "doing well with the program" until it was temporarily halted because of the pandemic.

He said the man later reportedly relapsed into drug addiction and ultimately overdosed and died.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, between July 1 and Oct. 10, 2018, task force agents used a confidential informant to conduct two controlled purchases of heroin from Huckaby in Garland County. The total amount of heroin was more than 2 grams but less than 10 grams, making it punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

On Oct. 17, 2018, shortly before 9:30 a.m., task force agents, assisted by Arkansas Community Correction Special Response Team agents and Garland County sheriff's investigators, executed a search warrant on Huckaby's residence in the 1000 block of Shady Grove Road and arrested her on the delivery warrants.

The agents asked her if they could search her residence and she gave consent and told them a friend, later identified as Demarius Lesajun Grisby, 28, was in her bed.

Agents entered the residence and found Grisby in the master bedroom and noted there was a loaded Beretta .32 special semi-automatic handgun next to him on the nightstand. It was noted the gun was 6 inches from Grisby's head.

Agents also found a plastic cup on a dresser containing 10 grams of what later tested positive for meth, plastic bags, a bag with 53.4 grams of marijuana, smoking devices, two sets of scales and six Ambien pills, all in the same bedroom.

Metro on 05/22/2020

Print Headline: Last heroin dealer swept up in 2018 operation receives 10 years

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